Below is the article “Does KhMAO need an urgent change of its authorities and a cleansing of its elites?" published in 2008. This was one of my first “revelations”. While talking to the press, I began to openly speak about corruption and extortion in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District, close ties between the local authorities and law enforcement bodies, and massive backing from both the regional and federal law enforcement. This very interview was the cause of all my future misadventures, which came in the form of threats, pressure, and persecution.

“Does KhMAO need an urgent change of its authorities and a cleansing of its elites?"

An interview the local businessman Konstantin Dyulgerov gave to a regional newspaper, took an unexpected form. It was planned to talk about the specifics of doing business in Nizhnevartovsk, about investments and prospects of economic growth and the development of local business in general. But unexpectedly, Dyulgerov began to speak openly: "I didn't want to wash our dirty linen in public, and especially to get into politics. But it's just impossible to tolerate this anymore. Entrepreneurs are encumbered with an unreasonable burden, and this isn’t only about taxes, but also about illegal fees. Sometimes I have a feeling, that this is a centralized policy of the local and regional political leadership, the idea of which is a non-interference as a minimum, and the systemic corruption as a maximum. To build something big, or to start any serious business, you need to respect and please a vast number of various officials, each of whom is interested only in taking his piece and not in a contributing to the legitimate interests of your business. I no longer have faith in people in charge of the region, who sit in their cabinets. It's time to drive them away “with a dirty broom”.

Until there is no order in our region, the development of local business is out of a question. In these circumstances, the chance for normal work exists either for the large federal companies, since the local elites won’t dare to go against them, or for those businessmen who are close to the “tops” themselves. If the authorities do not need us, we do not need such authorities either!" Among other things, the businessman said that he has a piece of evidence, which he is ready to present to the law enforcement. However, he is sure that representatives of regional law enforcement structures are in the lead of this lawlessness themselves. Only the global cleansing or a complete change of power might help in the situation.

In his interview, he also promised his support to any sensible and adequate political forces that will show a real interest and help him in the fight against corruption in the region. He stressed that this is not his political activity, but only a principled position of an active citizen, voter, and resident of the region. Revelations of the businessman have already caused a public resonance, reminding the people of KhMAO of the constant thorn in their side – the corruption. At the media’s request to comment on the situation, the administration of the region stated that they had not seen the interview, but they promised to assess the situation.

The article was published by a number of websites, including